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Analysis of the Short Story "Owl" by Jackie Kay

In: English and Literature

Submitted By andreaslynge
Words 1828
Pages 8
Assignment 8

Can a close friendship be the means to cope with life and overcome fears and challenges? This seems to be the case in Jackie Kay’s short story “Owl” written in 2012, where the two main characters together experience a very hurtful childhood event overlapping with an encounter with an owl. The story tells us how both of these incidents shapes the friendship between the main characters and how it becomes a lifelong walk together in this life but also a journey into a fantasy world of their own. The short story is written in the first person. This means that the story is told by the main-character Barn, or Anita as she is really called. It is characterised by a heavily use of dialogue and direct speech. This dialogue is almost entirely between Barn and Tawny (Tawny’s real name is Marion). This literary device is a way to illustrate that it is only about the two of them, Barn and Tawny – the rest of the world does not really matter: The fact that we only get an insight and hear about the two women life for example their childhood, creates a closer relation with the two of them and at the same time we as readers gets distanced from everyone else. This is also why that the narrator makes heavily use of the personal pronoun ‘we’. It forms an affiliation between the reader and the main-characters, which is Barn and Tawny. The close relation between the two of them is also seen in the following quote: “”It’s only scary because we all want to be perfect. It’s not scary if we just don’t care,” Tawn said. “But it is the feeling of things slipping out of you control, the idea that we might suddenly just lose it, lose our minds.” I could feel a note of hysteria creeping into my voice.” This is a very warm-hearted and deep conversation they have – the characters are very open and it creates an intimate and close atmosphere. This makes it easy to identify with...

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